Clarence House Chase Entries: Shishkin and Energumene to clash at Ascot?

Shishkin Cheltenham

Eleven entries have been received for the 2022 Clarence House Chase, which takes place at Ascot on January 22, and it could see an absolute hum-dinger of a clash between Shishkin and Energumene...

Fresh from an exquisite 10-length victory in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park, Shishkin could well be seen next at Ascot in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase, and the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar could lock horns with Energumene, who is set to be sent to Berkshire by Willie Mullins for the Queen Mother Champion Chase trial.

Outclassing Tingle Creek hero Greaneteen with aplomb in the Desert Orchid, Shishkin showed his usual brilliance over his obstacles before cruising clear in the closing stages, and he was duly trimmed in the betting for the 2022 Champion Chase. In the aftermath of the contest, Henderson mooted a possibility of sending Shishkin to Ascot for the Clarence House, but the bookmakers have aired on the side of caution in the betting, as he's been installed as the 2/1 second favourite.

While Henderson weighs up the possibility of sending Shishkin to Ascot, it wouldn't be a shock to see him wait a few weeks and compete in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury. It was a path led by the Henderson-trained Altior three years on the bounce between 2017 and 2019, and Shishkin could well get an easier ride taking in that contest, but it would be a real joy to see him take on the aforementioned Energumene at Ascot.

While the jury is out on Shishkin's participation in the Clarence House Chase, Willie Mullins has indicated all roads lead to Ascot for Energumene, who has been a real revelation over fences - winning his five chases in fine style - and the unbeaten chaser is available at Evens to claim Clarence House glory.

Around a 5/2 chance for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, Energumene was last seen cruising to an eight-and-a-half length victory in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork, while his 16-length annihilation of a decent field in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Punchestown Festival showed that he is certainly flying the flag for the Irish two-milers.

Both Shishkin and Energumene possess magnificent talent, and it would be a real mid-season treat for the pair to do battle in three weeks at Ascot, but whether the clash of the titans comes to fruition, then that's another matter.

Other notable entries that feature in the 11-strong field include Kim Bailey's First Flow and Venetia Williams's Funambule Sivola, who finished 1-2 in the Peterborough Chase, while Hitman is another potential candidate for the Paul Nicholls yard.

Queen Mother Champion Chase Odds
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